Hazel Grace Lancaster is dying of cancer and lugs an oxygen tank around. At cancer support group she meets a gorgeous boy named Augustus who is instantly smitten with her and invites her over to his house.
Why Hazel might be hard to identify with: She’s improbably profound. She’s so tragic that she’s sort of the parody of the YA genre. The ease with which this gorgeous boy falls for her is a little dubious.
- She’s got a signature object that externalizes her internal weakness: The oxygen tank.
- She’s got other physical manifestations of her illness like chubby cheeks from the treatment.
- Every cancer in the group has different specifics.
- She’s got personal preferences, like the book she’s obsessed with, which we get long quotes from.
- She’s dying of cancer!
- She’s self-conscious about all of her physical flaws when she realizes this boy is checking her out.
- There’s clearly something about her that Augustus can see.
- She’s charmingly witty.
- She’s a profound thinker. We admire this even though we don’t quite buy it.
- Though she hates the term, she’s a fighter: She insists on taking the stairs with her tank because taking the elevator is a sign you’re dying.